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Surgeon General Announces Partnership with Hospitals to Combat Opioid Abuse

July 30, 2018

The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., announced that this fall his office will partner with the American Hospital Association to further combat the opioid epidemic.

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Voters across Parties Value Protections for Pre-existing Conditions

July 27, 2018

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll looks at how important a candidate’s positions on seven health care issues are to voters. Continued protections for people with pre-existing conditions tops the list, with 63 percent of registered voters ranking these protections as the single most important factor, or a very important factor, in their 2018 vote.

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CMS Restarts ACA Insurer Risk Adjustments to Stabilize Individual and Small Group Markets

July 25, 2018

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new rule to restart the insurer risk-adjustment program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS’ stated goal is to “maintain stability and predictability in the individual and small group health insurance markets” nationwide.

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With Average Requested Rate Increase of 0.7%, ACA Marketplace Appears Stable for Next Year

July 23, 2018

According to today’s announcement from the Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania’s individual and small group health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remain stable. Based on insurers’ requested rate filings for 2019, Pennsylvanians can expect minimal rate increases and more choices.

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U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Hearing Provides an Update on 21st Century Cures Act Implementation

July 20, 2018

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to provide a status update about the mental health provisions included in the 21st Century Cures Act. During the hearing, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the agency at the helm of implementing the Cures Act’s mental health provision, reported about the agency’s progress.

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Legal Challenge to 340B Payment Cut Rejected on Procedural Grounds; HAP Advocates for 340B Program As Crucial Tool in Helping Hospitals Managing Drug Costs

July 17, 2018

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision rejecting, on procedural grounds, a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and America’s Essential Hospitals that could have prevented Medicare payment cuts from taking effect for many hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

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Americans Divided About Value of Medical Treatment; Concerned About Cost

July 16, 2018

While new survey results show a divide among Americans about the value of medical treatments, a strong majority (83%) expressed concern that the cost of medical treatment was a barrier to high-quality health care.

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Federal Task Force Created to Address Critical Drug Shortages

July 13, 2018

Addressing concerns about the continuing shortage of critical drugs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday released a statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announcing the formation of a federal task. The task force will investigate the causes of the shortages and recommend solutions to ensure appropriate supplies of medications are always available.

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Reduced Resources for Insurance Navigators; Outreach Efforts will be Crucial to Encouraging Coverage

July 12, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its annual notice for federal grants to fund navigators that assist consumers in enrolling in the federal health insurance marketplace. For the second year, CMS reduced the funding available to support the outreach efforts.

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Trump Administration Freezes Risk Adjustment Payments

July 09, 2018

On Saturday, the Trump Administration announced a temporary halt of risk adjustment payments to insurers. Those payments, totaling more than $10 billion based on 2017 business, are designed to offset higher costs for insurers that offer plans to high-risk individuals.

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New Medicare Cost Growth Estimates Paint Concerning Financial Picture

July 06, 2018

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a new, updated resource, which provides detailed information relating to trends in Medicare benefit payments, Medicare spending projections, and an assessment of Medicare’s financial condition and future outlook. 

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New Policy Brief Outlines Burdens of Restrictions on Advanced Practice Professionals

July 05, 2018

A recent policy brief published by The Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution, provides new insight into the ways that limitations in scope of practice are impacting health care in the United States.

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Medicaid Expansion Associated with Increases in Coverage and Quality of Care

July 03, 2018

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contributed to improvements in the quality of care and coverage, according to a recent Health Affairs analysis of 77 published studies.

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Pennsylvania Approved for Additional Federal Funding for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities Services

July 02, 2018

Pennsylvania has received approval to continue to receive federal funds to provide substance use disorder (SUD) treatments, according to an announcement today by the Wolf Administration.

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Coverage Protections for Pre-existing Conditions a Top Issue for Voters

June 27, 2018

According to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll, about two-thirds (65%) of registered voters say a candidate’s support for continued protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is either the “single most important factor” or “very important” to their vote in the upcoming midterms elections.

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